Closet Country

Hey ya’ll 😉 Below is a short story I wrote for a writing.com contest five or six years ago and then promptly forgot until this morning. Reading it again made me giggle and I hope that it makes you crack a smile too. But First:

I realize that I’ve been basically MIA for the last part of this week while we here in Singing School land ready ourselves for the onslaught of ‘campers’ that will show up tomorrow night. In fact, I’m exhausted from all the work I’ve done and I’m not even doing 1/3 of the work my parents are doing (I am keeping up with my toddler too though…that’s exhausting all by it’s lonely!)

Here’s a quick glimpse at what I would have written about last week:
Thursday – I wrote about my school and new job, I meant to write about the interesting study of children’s literacy as linked to parental shopping styles (kids who get monosyllabic and quick ‘no’s as opposed to kids to get explanations etc.)

Friday – Tyree Tomes Updates..well, we’re writing and working on Singing School Stuff. Today is your last day to get a free download of my Short Story Sundays book, I would love to see some more people grab these little suckers!

 

And Now…Closet Country:

“Yo Ella,”

Ella cringed as she heard her roommate’s cry for her to ‘wait up’. She had thought that Barb was going to the battle of the bands with her boyfriend and now worried that Barb’s intrusion on their dorm room would make her late for her own band appointment.

“UGH! Spike is picking me up in 5 minutes and I need to shower and change!” Barb panted as she jogged beside Ella, “I can’t believe class ran over.”

“You better hurry! Let’s run,” Ella pasted a grin on her face and ran next to her breathless friend. Her long black hair flew behind her, the red chunks forming snapshots for pedestrians across campus. They reached the dorm seconds before Spike, who shoved Barbara, sweaty t-shirt and all, into his sad looking truck, muffling her protests with a cookie.

“See ya!”

Ella waved and this time her smile was genuine as she moved into the building and swung through the door to her room. Quickly shutting and locking the door, closing the blinds, and checking that both webcams were off, Ella opened the steamer trunk at the end of her bed and removed the false bottom to stare down at her greatest joy and deepest shame…her cowboy boots.

Ella, dark haired heavy metal loving, tattooed and pierced Ella, was a closest country music writer and performer. She carefully concealed it all in the false bottom of her trunk; only incorporating it into her life a few times a month. Slowly, checking once again to make sure that the blinds were closed and the door locked, Ella began to remove her lip and eyebrow rings. She changed into the tight faded jeans, the collared button up shirt, and the denim jacket. Ella then tugged on her boots, covering them with galoshes that had skulls painted in bright red along the sides, and yanked on a black trench coat. With her hair pulled into a sleek pony tail and her guitar and music snugly secured in its highly decorated case pirate ship case, Ella raced to her car.

HONKY TONK!! Flashed in bold neon letters, temporarily blinding Ella as she pulled into the country bar 2 hours from home. She couldn’t play anywhere near campus and risk being exposed. Ella hustled to stage and told them she had arrived. Within minutes the house band had her music and was waiting for her cue. The music twanged into being as she raised her head and sang;

“I’m not a country girl, I’m a big city woman. I don’t want to whirl, in your truck or on your tractor. I want to rock and roll in my heavy metal boots. So go away Bubba, I don’t give a hoot!”

The crowd was silent, even the chirping crickets rested their tired legs a moment to process Ella’s words. She had looked like one of them, she had sounded like one of them, but there was obviously a YANKEE in their midst. For her part, Ella didn’t know what she had done wrong, but she realized something was amiss. She quickly packed her things, ran out the door, and hustled off in her car. A few days later a newscaster on her favorite hard rock station rattled off this news story as she and Barb were getting ready for class: “A few nights ago some little lady named Ella Fitz took a the country bar Honky Tonk by storm with a little diddy she wrote and performed herself. My cousin, Hillbilly Bubba, was there and, bless his soul, recorded it for us. I think you guys will like it.” With that Ella’s voice floated over the airwaves as Barbara looked over at her friend, “You’re a closet cowgirl?????”

 

 

My Job – REVEALED

I wasn’t here earlier in the day to post my normal ‘free flow’ writing post for Thursday, and this isn’t it (don’t get excited).

Ok, maybe get a little excited because I only popped on here to joyously shout to the world…or all 195 people who admit to reading my blog anyway…that I am no longer a trade piece between principals! That’s right dearies, I have officially been assigned! I went today to see my principal (a very nice and laid back man who is apparently the epitome of absent minded – I like him), and he showed me my classroom. OH, Ah, my classroom…When I was hired on I began to imagine my room, probably a tiny little thing with windows so we could pretend to have breathing room as my students slaved away at…whatever I was going to be teaching. But no, it was not to be! My room is FABULOUS and large and I have carte blanche to decorate as I will…including painting murals on the walls and ceiling tiles, painting the windows, and bringing in my own desk if I want to. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

 

As I was basking in the reveal of my very own room and all the delightful plans I have for it, Principal B gave me even BETTER news (how can you top a huge classroom?? Drum Roll Please…) He gave me my subject assignment. Since we’re going to subject specific classes, my fifth grade teaching experience will be chiseled down to two areas, Social Studies and (dududuDUUUHHH) WRITING! Whaaat?!?!?!!!! I did manage to refrain from doing the happy dance in front of anyone, other than my poor toddler. She’s seen it before and now that I’m working I can probably afford the therapy she’ll need.

 

And now, I’m off to troll Pinterest for more classroom ideas. WootWoot!

 

Have a Blessed Weeks end everyone!

Wednesday Writing

Normally I use Wednesday as a mid-week check in point with you, dear readers, to find out what we’re all reading as we slog through the week. Whether fortunately or unfortunately, this week I am busy with organizing and rearranging rooms to help prepare for next week’s upswing in housemates (I think we have 5 girls staying with us so far), and I am not finding much time to read…I’m 2 chapters from finishing a book I started 3 weeks ago and it shames me to take so long!

However, I didn’t want to leave everyone high and dry since I know you all look forward to my posts with glee 😉

Since I don’t have much to say about what I’m not reading (and I’ve said it all already!) I will post a bit of a story I have been sporadically working on for the past several years. If you have excerpts of your work you want to share, or comments on something you’re reading, please feel free to do so! I look forward to seeing what you have to say!

Sylvester (Working Title):

 

“I have to.” The words were simple, the gaze steady as Annabelle watched Sylvester pace the clearing. “No, you don’t. Those people don’t even know you, you don’t know them. Why are you so intent on helping those who would cast you aside if they knew who you really were?”

 

He was irritated, and had a right to be. His girlfriend, the woman who he had been on the brink of proposing to, had just informed him she was going to hop worlds and help people she had never met to defeat some nameless threat. Not only that, but to do what she was planning, she would disappear from their world and become a baby in the other. He might never see her again, all for some people she had only seen in a dream.

 

“I’m sorry, I have to. I hope you’ll understand someday love. Goodbye.”

 

Then she was gone. A world away a child screamed into the night. “It’s a girl.”

 

Chapter One

 

As a child, Brianna had dreams of another world. One where magic was as natural as air and people watched and waited for her. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, Bri knew these people. Sometimes she could remember their names, and would excitedly turn to them, but she would always wake at this point, dream memories niggling at her brain until she pushed them aside. As she grew the dreams became more in depth, more real. She would wake smelling the scents of otherworldly kitchens, feeling the softness of otherworldly grass.

 

She began seeing the people from her dreams out of the corner of her eye, in broad daylight. She would sense them watching her, urging her to something she couldn’t understand, or rather, felt as if she couldn’t remember. In defense, she turned to the things all teenage girls find interest in: sports, music, books, friends, and, of course, boys.

 

 If there were those that watched her grow, rejoiced for her achievements, grieved in her failures, that was their business. And if there were those that watched a little more closely than others, whose heart broke a little with each new boyfriend, they did so in silence. All watched with bated breath as she began the path that would lead her to her destiny. Some watched, wishing they could help. Some watched waiting for their chance to foil her fate. None of them, though, could have imagined what would come next.

 

 

Chapter Two

She was in college when the dreams returned. Brianna woke with a start, reaching for someone who couldn’t possibly be real, and letting out a mild stream of curses when she realized she had slept through her alarm, again. It looked like breakfast would have to wait, for the third time that week, as she quickly got dressed and headed out of the dorm towards her first class. If she ran she might be on time.

As she entered the classroom, barely ahead of her teacher, Brianna a familiar tug on her conscious, this was not a class her parents had wanted her to take. They were intent on seeing their daughter firmly ensconced within the business world, most preferably as the President of some huge company. Proving her worth and the worth of women in the workplace, to the world.

Mom and Dad just couldn’t, or wouldn’t, understand her love and need for literature. Not that they didn’t read. They read biographies, the New York Times, the stocks, and every once in a while they would read the memoirs of a friend or allow themselves a few minutes for a chapter in a classical novel. In fact, dad had been reading poetry lately; One poem every night, right before bed. He figured he might complete that first book of Wadsworth before sixty (he was 35 when he started).

They had even insisted on Brianna taking an extra course in literature during high school, along with her music lessons, so that she could be “an accomplished young lady.” But after that course they just couldn’t grasp the reasons why Brianna would want to take others or why she devoured books so voraciously instead of pursuing the math and business major they had pushed onto her.

So there had been a compromise, she would pursue business and they would allow her a few courses of her choosing. Now she was sitting in one of the only classes she enjoyed, “Myths, Faerie Tales, and Legends: A History of Magic in Literature.” As she dutifully settled into her seat to take the notes the professor was busy writing on the board, Brianna decided that her late nights reading these tales were the reason she had been having the dreams again. Magic couldn’t possibly exist in today’s society. If she only knew the truth she might have paid extra attention to the lecture that day. A lecture on the archetype of evil.

OH, SNAP!

Ok, show of hands…who remembers Legally Blond 2 and the Snap cup?? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the video clip here. The basic premise is that when co-workers or classmates start looking for the good in each other, the workplace (classroom) is a happier and more cohesive unit.

Now that we’re all on the same page:

Whatever classroom I am blessed to have this coming school year will have a variation on this great idea. (I know, school just ended, but I have to set up an ENTIRE class.) Are you ready for this?? We will have the “OH, SNAP!” cup!! Decorated with alligator skin scrapbook paper, a coloring sheet alligator I plucked from my BBC Plant Earth: Awesome Animals coloring book, and a live action image of a snapping alligator’s mouth, this container will be the receptacle for ‘warm fuzzies’ and ‘caught being good’ notes from students to their classmates and from myself (and other adults) to my students.

If you’re looking to make one of your very own, this was fairly simple and satisfying to make.

1) have a kid who drinks Nido (A toddler formula replete with vitamins, made by Nestle and sold in the WalMart ‘Hispanic foods’ aisle), or just use a large coffee container etc.

2) Wash out the container, dry it off

3) Decide on a ‘theme’ for your ‘snap cup’ and find suitable decorations. I used green animal scale scrapbook paper and taped it onto the can.

4) Attach other decorations as you see fit…I wrote “OH, SNAP!” on the scrapbook paper and added a cut out from a coloring book page.

5) Find a picture or scrapbook paper etc. to cover the can’s lid (Optional but encouraged…can be the most awesome part!). I searched for an image of an alligator with his mouth open and printed it up.

6) Adhere the picture to the lid

7) I took the extra few minutes and sealed in both the lid and can coverings with clear contact paper to give longer shelf life to the item.

8) Cut a hole in the lid for people to slide in their notes.

9) sit back and survey your artwork. Satisfying, isn’t it?

 

 

Here is what I came up with:

Displaying CAM03723-1.jpg

Scrapbook paper created a base to build on..this plain section actually says “Oh, SNAP!”

Displaying CAM03722-1.jpg

Here’s my coloring book friend…I purchased the coloring book a few years ago at a “Everything’s a Dollar”. These things really come in handy!

Displaying CAM03721.jpg

The hole for ‘oh snap’ papers to be deposited through will be in the alligator’s mouth…”OH SNAP!”

The Short Story Supposition

The series has been titled such due to the challenge’s supposition that an author can write at least one short story per week for a year! The First book in this series, Short Story Sundays, is now not only available on Kindle and Amazon…it is also FREE for e-reader download through the Kindle app. from now (May 27th) through Midnight on Saturday (May 31st)!!

Here are just a few of the reviews for this book:

“Fabulous!” “Wonderful read” “Amazing writing and great mix of genres” “Superb!!” “Encore!”

“If this is what comes out of the first few months, I can’t wait to see what happens next!”  ~

Ok, so these are all reviews from the characters that I wrote about in this collection of short stories, but I look forward to seeing what the general public has to say about them!

Remember that this is a great way to keep your favorites of my shorts close at hand, as well as a wonderful opportunity to share my writing with friends and family who may not be part of the blogosphere. As my Dad often says:
“Sharing is Caring!” (Incidentally, his review was. “Not bad Peewee.” Which usually means, “WOW WHAT A GREAT JOB YOU DID. I AM SO PROUD!”)

Do any of you have books on the free list this week? Have you found an author you just LOVE who has free e-books right now?? I encourage you to use the comment space to share those with us.

Happy Tuesday!

 

How I Became Indie

I didn’t wake up one day and think, ‘HEY! I should just be an indie (independent) writer.’ I have not carefully plotted and planned each move like a chess game of words. In fact, I am pretty much doing everything sideways and backwards but I guess it doesn’t matter as long I get to write. So, I’ve outlined my story here, in the hopes that it can encourage someone to keep pushing for their dreams.

I have always been a storyteller and, eventually, I began to write the stories down. Naturally, I followed that up with entering contests and challenges and online writing groups, surrounding myself with other people who enjoyed doing the things I love. One such short story contest led to the birth of my first full length young adult novel, finished during a mad attempt at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The next year brought the second novel, and two years later I followed up with a third novel (which kept me sane during my long and difficult pregnancy).

I began querying agents and publishers alike but if you’ve ever tried it, you know the difficulties we all face and, at that time, the middle grade/young adult market was flooded. No one had a need for my Stone Dragon Saga.

Then someone pointed toward Amazon and Createspace and their yearly contest: The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Like thousands of other hopefuls, I didn’t even make it through the first round. My initial pitch wasn’t as strong as it could have been, but the outcome wasn’t that important. You see, my piece had been primped and polished and made ready on Createspace and so I hit the final button and my life as an indie author began.

I don’t make much money at all, but writing is a passion of mine that continues defiant of the price tag. The books and, more recently, the blog are my outlet, my voice. As Frank Kafka once said, “The non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” So I write to stave off my crazy. It’s what we all do, really.

No, I am not famous. Yes, I did have to get a ‘day’ job (if you can call teaching that!), but there is someone in at least 24 different countries that has read my words, and many who continue to do so. That keeps a smile on my face, a pen in my hand, and stories in my heart.

What’s your story? Are you a traditionalist, an indie, a struggler, or just a reader? How are you following dreams and branding the world? Inquiring minds want to hear the tale!

Goal Oriented Monday

This is a big week in our house. Not because there’s anything out of the ordinary going on, but because next week is our church’s Singing School. Singing School is a camp like atmosphere in which students spend a week learning to read music, sing parts, lead singing, and throw water balloons with deadly accuracy. (ok, we usually only do water balloons once a week.)

You may be thinking to yourself, “but Beth, why would this effect your house? It sounds like that all happens at church.”

Yes, yes it does…except that the kids don’t stay in pews or bus to cabins. Church members keep the students throughout the week, cook for them morning and night, and drive them back and forth to the building for classes. It’s a fun experience, or it was eight years ago when I helped with my last singing school. Now, almost a decade later, my parents and I are all back in town and signed up to keep girls. When I was in high school and college we kept almost twenty girls, this year I think we signed up for 5. I am excited, I am wary, I am downright mean…oh wait, that’s next week.

This all means that this week has a specific and slightly different set of goals for us here in the castle.

  1. Finally finish the writer’s loft so that there aren’t several boxes and empty shelves cluttering the open space.
  2. Re-organize my sleeping/craft area
  3. Find a good place to leave my notebooks and pens that won’t get a bunch of snot nosed teenagers messing with them (that’s not fair, I don’t know the condition of their noses)
  4. Write during every break so that I don’t lose my questionable mojo
  5. Do stuff, lots of stuff
  6. Do more stuff, like baking
  7. Clean up plant area and all that jazz

That’s right: I’ve got goals, yes I do! I’ve got goals, How ABOUT YOU?!?!?!?!! (Insert Nerdy Hurky here)

 

 

The Flower Bucket

“A FLOWER BUCKET!!???!?!?!?” From her tone it was clear to the entire block party that this had been a particularly bad idea on his part.

“But Cheryl,” His normally cultured, refined southern gentleman accent took on a decidedly ‘backwoods hick’ edge as he wheedled and whined. “You KNOW I was just starting law school then. If you hated it so much; hated ME so much, then why have you kept it in your garden for all of these years?”

He reached for her hand then, mistaking the glisten in her eye for tears of lost love instead of rage. She, not unpredictably, jerked her fingers away from his clammy reach quickly, glaring reproachfully at his idiocy. “Oh that, of COURSE I kept it! Do you have any idea how much one of those half wine barrel buckets costs by itself? That doesn’t mean you still have a chance with me Jeff.”

“But I…”

“No, let’s recap here, just in case you’ve forgotten something…YOU BROKE UP WITH ME via an expensive flower arrangement with a one word note…’Goodbye!’ and a singing telegram. A man in a gorilla suit rang my doorbell, handed me the note, pointed to the flowers, and then took great pride in exhibiting the reason his pop career never took off by singing N’Sync’s song, “Bye, Bye, Bye” off key and with half of the words wrong! It’s been eight years…I still have nightmares. Why do you even think you can talk to me right now?”

“Not my finest moment,” Jeff agreed quietly, noticing all of the eyes focused in their direction. Even the girls with infants took time out from cooing over how adorable the squealers were. “I know this doesn’t help but for the record, I really thought that I had made it clear to them that I did NOT want the singing telegram.”

“Because that makes it better?” Cheryl scoffed sarcastically. “Do you even hear yourself anymore Jeffrey? You went off to grad school or wherever and left me with a note that said ‘bye’ and a bad pop wannabe delighting in singing it to me. Now you’ve finished school, had some flings, are officially a sleazy lawyer, and have come back home thinking what? That I probably haven’t moved on yet because you were so awesome?? You, sir, are an idiot.”

“Would it help if I said I was sorry?” His eyes were pleading, desperate. She leaned in and looked deep within the glittering green orbs, he looked sincere.

“I don’t know, why don’t you try it and find out?”

“I—but I—I just did.”

“No, you asked if it would help if you did.” Cheryl pointed out with more than a little pleasure at his discomfort. “So…where’s my apology?”

“I truly am sorry that I had to do that to you,” Jeff stressed each word quietly, pulling her over toward her front yard and the bucket in question. “And I really like how you’ve got the bucket set up now.”

“HAD TO DO THAT TO ME???” Cheryl was screaming more loudly than Mrs. Picket’s twins. “I KNOW you did NOT just say that to me Jeffrey Joseph Daniel Smith! I KNOW that you KNOW better than that!”

“Cheryl HUSH!” Jeff roared, looking around sheepishly as the entire street feel eerily silent. “I need to tell you why I did what I did. Can we please go inside now? You can bring your boyfriend with you if that would make you feel better. But we have to do this now.”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Cheryl admitted, leading the way up to the inviting little porch and cherry wood door. “I lied to make you feel bad.”

“I’m sorry you felt that you had to do that.” Jeff looked around at all the changes, and all the things that had stayed the same, in her living room. “I like this color. Remember when you bought the place and we painted this room that horrid bright green color? Ha, the glare on the television was terrible!”

“What do you want.” She sat on the couch, stretching across the oversized cushions to keep Jeff from having anywhere to sit but the old broken rocker. The rocker he had promised to fix before he left eight years ago.

“I thought you would have gotten rid of this by now.”

“I heard you were coming back to town.”

“I see,” Jeff scratched his head in his habitual nervous gesture as he settled onto the splintery seat. “Cher, I didn’t want to leave you like that. I had no choice. If I didn’t, you would have tried to come visit me and I wasn’t at Georgetown.”

“So you lied to me BEFORE you broke up with me. You are digging enough of a hole that there won’t be any work left for the grave diggers.” Cheryl’s face was stone now, her anger erasing years of worry and wonder and pain and only leaving the rage that had simmered for almost a decade. “I suppose you’ll be fine with a trash bag burial right?”

“LOOK, just SHUT UP and LISTEN!” Jeff snapped, “I went to law school, but under a different name and across the country. I saw some things that I shouldn’t have seen and had to go into protective custody. Under witness protection and with weekly check-ins, I went to school as David Danielson. To keep you safe, I had to let you go and I had to do it in such a way that you wouldn’t try to find me again. It took eight years, but now the men who would have hurt you are in jail and waiting their trial. I’m supposed to be in that trial Cheryl, and I will make sure they can’t hurt either of us. But I wanted you to know WHY I was so cruel.”

“Likely story,” Cheryl’s demeanor had softened a little, but such a farfetched story couldn’t be trusted. Lawyers were good story tellers.

“It’s true,” Mrs. Pike stood in the doorway, a child leash in each hand and a toddler happily dangling on either side of her legs. “Kyle and I moved in next to you the day after, remember? We are part of a watch team set up to keep you safe and unaware. Cat’s outta the bag now though.”

“Wait, who in the world did upset Jeff?” Cheryl stared, big eyed now, at Mrs. Pike, with her toddlers and happy kitty t-shirt, “Who would hurt us?”

“It’s best if you don’t ever find out,” Alec Hanson, the local butcher, had walked in behind Mrs. Pike. “Just know that he did what he had to do. Jeff, did you get it buddy? Carl says you’ve wasted too much time making googly eyes at her already.”

“Ok, I’ll get it now.” Jeff stood slowly, painfully removing his seat from the splinters that were trying to cling, and leaned over to kiss Cheryl’s cheek gently. “I am sorry Cher-bear. I only did it because I love you.”

She watched him walk out of her life again, tears glistening in her eyes as he paused to lean over the flower bucket, lost love and needless disdain had turned to a caring and secret safety. The flowers would smell sweeter now that the tang of burning anger had subsided. But wait! He wasn’t sniffing the flowers, he was pushing at the wood. Hitting a bumpy knot near the bottom, Jeff made a secret door fly open and retrieved a large, flat envelope. With a final wave, he was gone. Swept into a dark van that sped down the street, narrowly avoiding the barbecues lined up on the sidewalk.

“YOU!” Cheryl turned her bright gaze to Mrs. Pike. “Get a babysitter, you have dinner plans tonight!”

For the first time in the eight years she had lived on Sassafras lane, Mrs. Pike truly felt scared.

A New Book and Some Old Friends

I have just finished the ‘leg’ (or rather…typing fingers) work on publishing my first collection of short stories (The first 4 months of Short Story Sundays). This is an excellent way to keep to the stories with you or easily accessible for you without having to keep searching online or not re-reading them at all (and I know how much you ALL want to re-read my every story ;P )

Since I am now playing the waiting game while Kindle and Amazon finish up their end of the bargain, I thought that it would be a good time to remind you of some other offerings the members of Tyree Tomes have available for your word loving pleasure.

 

We really need to get some new pictures! There are at least four new books between the two of us already 😀

Remember to check us out on Amazon.com and Kindle @

http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-S-Tyree/e/B00B7PGMYU

http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Wilson-Jay-Tyree/e/B00B1VF9OY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1400864629&sr=1-2-ent

(for some reason his newer books don’t seem to be listed on this author’s page. We will work on fixing that, but until then they do appear if you look at the ‘search results for Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree’)

 

 

 

 

Do you —Review?

 

 

Have you ever found a book or movie that just made you so excited that you HAD to tell someone?? Or maybe it was so poorly written or full of drivel that you wanted to stop your loved ones from wasting their time?? Have you ever posted on a social media site how ‘totes excited <3’ you are to start a new book, or to have purchased a new book/cd/movie etc.? OF COURSE YOU HAVE! If you haven’t ever found something entertaining that got you worked up then you need to stop taking the pick axe to the rocks and go troll the store for a while!

But here’s the thing…the real point to this post: How often do you take the next step and write a review on the piece? How often have you gone to Amazon.com, found the book you just finished, scrolled down to ‘write a customer review’ and actually WRITTEN A CUSTOMER REVIEW? For most of us the answer to that question is either ‘never’ or ‘not often.’

As a consumer I can completely understand this lack of completing the circle. We have things to do, after all, that do not include trolling internet stores and rating items. I usually finish a book somewhere around the 2 am mark and write a review for the blog in the next day or two. Occasionally I will remember to go post a link, but not usually. Usually I just bop along, and then I wonder why I’ve sold a few books, given away dozens, and still only have 3 book reviews TOTAL on Amazon, 2 from the same guy.

As an author, I am saddened, dismayed, paranoid, and frustrated by the lack of feedback.

So how do we fix this stagnation? How can we as consumers help those we consume? Why don’t we all start by writing a review of something today? It doesn’t have to be long and involved, it can just as easily be short and sweet: I like this book. Good flow, good story, 5 stars. Etc.

Your turn! Go tell a blogger what you like, or dislike, about their work. Have a favorite blogger who published something that you’ve read? Go review that book and link back to the blog you love so much. Have a favorite book from your childhood? A Movie you adore? An artist you hate? Go make you voice heard, constructively please, and help the people who entertain you. We certainly need it.